Arab Racing 2001

The Arab Horse Society



Lesson at the British Racing School pays off.

The first race at Warwick was for riders who have never ridden a winner, the veteran Al Jabal, gave Debbie Selfe a thrilling ride to take the race on the nod from Zemio.  Jockey Debbie Selfe reaped the rewards of a lesson at the Racing School, ‘I wanted to improve riding a finish,’ said Debbie, ‘Al Jabal is such a gentleman, and still keen to run at his age.  He likes to think he is running away with you at home, and enjoys it when a new person rides him.’  Debbie has her own 4-year-old at home by Drongo, but is waiting for him to mature before she races him.

This was the first leg of a double for Andrea Boulton completed by Brian on Riverdance in the 2 mile race.  Arabian horses are bred for stamina and are well able to race over the longer distances; this race provided an exciting finish as Cathy Thomas had set off at a good pace on Dhorgaam with Riverdance waiting to pounce in the final furlong to win by half a length.  This was a second win for the Jill Scrase bred Dantist mare, owner Maxine Cave-Debuse was thrilled and said “Arabian horses are still maturing and coming to themselves as 6-year-olds.”

A colt making his racecourse debut won the Maiden Stakes for trainer Sarah Kelleway.  WFA Dodi was pushed along by Simon Walker in the early stages of the race, and then got into his stride to take the lead in the home straight and stay there ahead of Yucel Mehmet on Mural-De-Fue and Pierre Deymonaz on Kahrabaiya in a fast run mile race.  The more experienced Djemila De Leyre made it a double for Sarah and Simon by winning the Mares Championship Stakes comfortably from previous winners Pleinne D’Amour and Lady Marisha.

There was some delay to the John Ward Memorial Stakes as Jawaal unseated his rider at the start and continued around the track on his own.  After several false starts due to sprinters keen to be off, Mrs Connally’s mare Affecshahn came home ahead of a large field ridden by leading jockey Pierre Deymonaz.  “This horse is lucky to be alive at all,” explained Pierre, “She was born by Caesarean section.”  Pierre went on to make it a double on Sanji in the Tayross Homes Stakes.  In a thrilling finish Sanji kept half a length ahead of Iamys De Carrere, hard ridden by Sarah Kelleway from the bend.  Owner Stuart Shefras said, ‘Pierre gets on well with the horse and never uses the whip on him.’  Sanji will be standing at stud from March 2001 to a limited number of mares.

Four horses finished close together in the Roger & Linda Happiness Sweepstakes.  Sabez, ridden by Fred Offord for owner/trainer John Stroud, prevailed over Obayyan by half a length, with Island Dancer a short head third, and Sakit Sura fourth.

I had the pleasure of riding Steve and Ruth Kellow’s first winner, Frimousse Champeix, in the Anwar Racing.Com AA/PB Stakes.  This is Steve and Ruth’s first foray into Arab racing.  Ruth has always been keen on horses, but husband Steve used to compete in Sidecar Motor Cross at British Championship level and travelled all over Europe to race.  Steve took up riding about three years ago and turned to horse racing to give him the thrills he enjoyed in Motor Cross.  He bought Frimousse  Champeix, (Cara), two years ago and spent all of last year getting to know her and learning about training a racehorse.  He started riding in the yard under security lights and had to wait until the clocks went forward before he could start doing roadwork and eventually canter work on her.  Steve gets up at 5am to feed Cara, goes to work for Pickfords in Portsmouth then gets back to the yard at 6pm to ride out.  Ruth also works full time, and in between all this they try to find time for baby daughter Georgia.  All the hard work has paid off with a winner.

Rob & Claire


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